SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

May 13, 2008 10:00 ET

National Business Group on Health Honors Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles

52 Employers Recognized for Promoting Healthy Workplaces

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - The National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit organization, today recognized more than 50 U.S. employers for their continuing efforts to promote healthy work environments and encourage workers to live healthier lifestyles. The fourth annual Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were presented today at the Leadership Summit sponsored by the National Business Group on Health's (NBGH) Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity.

"Employers are putting a much higher priority on wellness and lifestyle improvement programs that promote employee health, well-being and productivity than ever before," said Helen Darling, President of the NBGH. "Each of the 52 employers we are honoring this year has demonstrated a commitment to the health, productivity and well-being of their employees and families."

Now in its fourth year, the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards acknowledge and reward those employers that have responded to the urgent need to improve their workers' health, productivity and quality of life. The underlying goal of the program is to encourage all employers to take action. This year's winning companies offer a wide variety of wellness and lifestyle improvement programs including, onsite fitness and health clinics; weight-management, smoking cessation and tobacco cessation programs; health coaches; web-based health and fitness tools; financial incentives for participating in fitness programs and health risk assessments.

"We are very pleased to honor these forward-thinking companies for their leadership in the development of a wide range of innovative programs and opportunities they are offering their workers to create a healthy work environment," said LuAnn Heinen, vice president and director of the NBGH's Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. "It is extremely satisfying to see the number of companies promoting a healthy work environment and actively engaged in improving the health of their workers. The number has grown steadily since we first launched our awards program. In the long run, all of these initiatives will have long-lasting positive results for employers, workers and their families."

Winners of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were honored in one of three categories: Platinum, for established "Healthy Weight, Healthy Lifestyles" programs with measurable success and documented outcomes; Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who are committed to long-term behavior changes; and Silver, for employers who have launched programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle.

Seven employers -- Baptist Health South Florida, Mayo Clinic, Pitney Bowes, Quest Diagnostics, Target, Texas Instruments, and Union Pacific -- have been honored four years in a row.

The winners in each category are:

PLATINUM

Aetna
Baptist Health South Florida
CIGNA
EDS
GlaxoSmithKline
Hannaford Brothers Company
Northeast Utilities
Pepsi Bottling Group
Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Texas Instruments Incorporated
The Dow Chemical Company
Union Pacific Railroad

GOLD

American Specialty Health Incorporated
AstraZeneca
Bath Iron Works, A General Dynamics Company
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC)
Campbell Soup Company
Chrysler, LLC
Erie Insurance
Fiserv, Inc.
General Dynamics Electric Boat
General Mills, Inc.
Gilsbar, Inc.
Humana
Intel Corporation
Mayo Clinic
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Pfizer, Inc.
Quest Diagnostics
Saint-Gobain Corporation
Sanofi-aventis
Sprint
Unum
Volvo Group Companies in North America (including Mack Trucks, Inc.)
Visant Corporation
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
WaMu
WellPoint, Inc.

SILVER
Bear, Stearns & Company, Inc.
Becton, Dickinson & Company
Cerner Corporation
Cummins Inc.
CVS Caremark
Data Recognition Corporation
Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Maersk, Inc.
Nestle´
Procter & Gamble
Target Corporation
The Schwan Food Company
Verizon Wireless

A complete list of the winners and a brief description of their programs is available at www.businessgrouphealth.org.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of over 300 mostly large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The NBGH identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. NBGH members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the NBGH, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org

Contact Information